-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
We have previously discussed the events at Widener Law School regarding Professor Lawrence Connell and Dean Linda Ammons, here, here, and here. The university formed a committee to hear the allegations of racial harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation. The committee, in its report, found no clear and convincing evidence of a university code violation on the racial harassment or sexual discrimination allegations.
The committee did find clear and convincing evidence pertaining to retaliation. Thomas Neuberger, Connell’s attorney, characterizes Connell’s actions not as retaliatory but as a defense against against false charges.
Ammons recommended, and the university accepted and required, that Connell submit to a psychological evaluation and anger management counseling. Connell has been suspended for a year without pay. These actions will look retaliatory if Connell’s lawsuit ever makes it to a jury.
Connell is suing Ammons, the university, and the two students who made the accusations, alleging defamation. The lawsuit seeks $1.8 in lost wages and benefits that would have accrued in the 12 years he had planned to continue working. Connell also is seeking additional damages for harm to his reputation, humiliation, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
Widener Law is a fourth-tier law school and this situation will do little to move it up. However, this incident could affect the reputation of Widener University. Where were the Board of Trustees while all this was going down?